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The Fotonovela

How to use Fotonovelas

Fotonovelas are very versatile educational tools. The fotonovelas developed by the RWHP are designed to reflect the target audience by presenting realistic role models and realistic options.

Fotonovela CoverYou can use fotonovelas to …

  • Encourage health behaviors
  • Teach steps toward positive choices
  • Support face-to-face education by lay-health workers
  • Reinforce clinical recommendations
  • Initiate discussion among a group or at meetings
  • Encourage self-identification with risk factors
  • Raise awareness
  • Support community education outreach
  • Celebrate!

How to decide how to use your fotonovela materials?

Not all fotonovelas are equal—you will want to review both the content and style of each novela. Some novelas are useful for introducing a health message or for general awareness; others might be great as part of a health meeting, and some will serve as a means to explain protocols or behaviors.

You will first want to review the material’s appropriateness for content, audience and story ending. Then ask yourself, “Does the material suggest actions that require support in order to accomplish the suggested behavior or action, or is the message self-manageable?”

Novelas can serve to raise awareness about a topic or to compliment a larger campaign. Materials with a general topic are fine for mass distribution as well as for outreach by your staff. These materials can be distributed at:

  • Clinic waiting rooms
  • Local Hispanic food stores (left at the check-out counters)
  • Laundromats
  • Day care centers
  • Migrant Education offices

Open-ended stories are best utilized by a lay-health worker, nurse or health educator; someone who can use the story to reiterate face-to-face education or to complement a medical recommendation. This type of novela can also be used in a group setting, where discussion can focus on outcomes or behaviors.

Materials addressing intimate topics such as condom use or breast self-exams are best used in combination with direct education. They can be used to reiterate or summarize proper steps for healthy outcomes.